Roasted Puerto Rican Pork
Slow-cooked pork roast infused with a unique flavor known only to the Island of Enchantment.
- 3-4 lbs of pork tenderloin roast or pork shoulder
- 6-8 cloves of garlic
- 3-4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of red pepper
- 1 tsp of oregano
- 2-3 tbsp of Adobo seasoning blend
- 2 tbsp of white vinegar
- 2 cups of white wine
- Rinse off the pork under the faucet (cold water) and pat dry.
- In a food processor (or using a mortar and pestle), add in 2-3 cloves of the garlic and mash into a pulp.
- Add in the olive oil, black pepper, red pepper, oregano, Adobo, and vinegar. Mash or blend into a paste.
- Take a steak knife and stab your pork about 10-15 times all around on all sides. Make each slit roughly 1-2 inches deep.
- Slice up the remaining garlic into smaller pieces. Generally about 3-4 pieces out of a large clove.
- In each slit, add small amount of the paste you made. Shove one of the garlic pieces into the slit after.
- When all the slits have paste and garlic inside, rub the rest of the paste all over the pork.
- Place the pork into a food storage bag or container you can seal, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Overnight is better.
- Pull the pork out and allow it to sit for an hour before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Place the pork into a roasting pan you can cover. Leave the fat side up. Pour out any marinate left in the bag/container onto the pork.
- Add the two cups of white wine to the bottom of the pan and place the pork into the oven covered.
- Cook the pork roughly 1 1/2 to 2 hours covered, then uncover and cook for another hour (or until done), basting it regularly with the liquid in the pan.
- Check your meat with a meat thermometer. When it’s done, pull it out and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
The amounts of everything here are subjective. You might end up getting a bigger piece of pork, so be sure to multiply the amounts accordingly. The same goes for cooking times. You want to cook the pork 30 minutes for every pound. So an 8 pound pork shoulder should be done two hours covered, then two hours uncovered. Be sure to check the interior temperature regularly after you pass that two hour mark and uncover it. The goal after uncovering is to “crisp up” the outside, so check and make sure you don’t overcook the pork. If it’s a smaller piece, then you might want to drain out some of the liquid and turn the heat up to 450° just to do a quick crisping.
When adding paste to the slits, you only need a tiny amount. The best tip I found is to use the handle of a tablespoon. Just roughly 1/8 of a teaspoon is enough. If you run out of paste before you get to rub the outside, make some more.
Leaving the pork fat side up when cooking is the same technique I mentioned in cooking Texas-style Brisket. The fat will gelatinize in the oven and soak into the meat, making it juicy.
If you notice all the wine is evaporating from the pan, add more or add some water.
The rice, beans, and peppers shown in the photo was made simply for decoration.
One of my sources for learning a better way to make this pork was elagasse.com. He also uses a mixture of seasonings called sofrito in his pork. If you would like to try this, check out his recipe.
You don’t have to use shoulder or a roast. I also managed to pull this off with pork chops. Only difference is you don’t have to stab and stuff with marinate and garlic.